Proper Diet

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Weight Loss And The Choice Of The Proper Diet

Let's start with a small clarification. The title of this article is something of a misnomer. There is no such thing as "the" proper diet for every individual. Nevertheless, all us humans are similar enough that there are broad categories, and several specifics, that are essentially correct for almost anyone.

Lower body mass index with African Mango PlusDespite all the fads and foolishness of the last 30 years or more, one thing about weight managment remains true. Not only do I say it is true, but it is backed by a huge amount and wide variety of nutritional research. A good diet is basically the old-fashioned "balanced diet" that has remained largely unchanged for 60 years or more. The keyword deserves repeating: balanced.

There are always fad diets with us that emphasize protein over carbohydrates, or fruits one day with meat the next, or eating vegetarian exclusively. All these may have some valid elements, but they almost all tend to go too far in one direction or another, and many are actually hazardous to your health.

Everyday, at regular intervals, anyone interested in optimizing health should eat daily meals consisting of fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy and some sort of protein. Of course, there will always have to be exceptions and alterations made for those with special dietary needs. Some people, for example, can't process dairy products. Others are dangerously sensitive to peanuts or other things.

However, the four traditional food groups, in the proper proportion, remain the undisputed recommendation of every reputable nutrition scientist or dietician. The reasons are simply that studies continue to support the notion that these supply the compounds needed by our bodies. Using those basic nutritional building blocks, it can perform muscle maintenance, proper electrolyte balance, cellular repair and other essential activities along with providing the needed energy to carry out all of them.

Nature, as science has discovered and verified, determines what the true needs of the body - not the guys in marketing.

Insoluble fiber, for example, (typically found in fruit, vegetables, and grains) isn't readily digested. As a result it helps with digestion and in cleansing the digestive system.

Certain vitamins (D, B, E, K) and minerals (lithium, calcium, postassium) are needed for carrying out the thousands of biochemical reactions critical to proper health. Sodium and potassium, taken in moderation, are used by the heart muscle in order to keep pumping blood through the body.

Proteins are needed so the body can lyse (split) them into the essential amino acids which the body needs for repair and activity. Those amino acids are then used to build up new proteins used for muscle and other important components.

Carbohydrates (chiefly those easily converted to glucose) are needed to supply the starting point of the cycle that generates energy to fuel all of the other processes. This is a fundamental process called the Krebs cycle. The Krebs cycle converts sugars into ATP, which is then converted to ADP, thus releasing energy.)

It is true that some fad diets sometimes supply some of these essentials, but typically, they do so in the wrong proportion or with too much of one thing or another at one time, not enough at another. They also frequently contain additional components that are not helpful, and which, if taken in excess, may be harmful, such as excessive fats or sugars.

When it comes to your diet, not "a" diet, moderation and regularity may not sound glamorous, but they're the keys to good health through good nutrition.

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Page Updated 3:59 PM Wednesday 9/2/2015